Notes All parts of Pokeweed are toxic. All parts of the pokeweed plant, especially the root, are poisonous. Doing so can risk chemical aspiration (the inhalation of vomit and poison into the lungs). Ingestion of poisonous parts of the plant may cause severe stomach cramping, nausea with persistent diarrhea and vomiting, slow and difficult breathing, weakness, spasms, hypotension, severe convulsions, and death. Clinical Uses: Increases the bodies elimination of waste materials (Yance, 1999). Pokeweed berries, roots and mature stalks, however, are highly poisonous to humans and some animals. Treatment may involve gastric lavage (the administration and removal of small volumes of fluid to clear the stomach), activated charcoal, laxatives, and supportive care. X may be used internally and locally in hot fomentation or poultice. While some believe that homeopathic remedies containing pokeweed are safe for human consumption, it is important to remember that they have not been evaluated for safety by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Act as an analgesic. The berries contain a red dye used to color wine, candies, cloth, and paper. If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of pokeweed poisoning, call 911 or the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222), where you will be connected to a poison control center in your area. 4. Appalachian tradition held that the medicinal uses of the plant were learned from the Cherokee. Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. However, based on how the body responds to pokeweed, it would be safe to assume that interactions do exist—some could be potentially significant. Pokeweed leaves and roots have been used in folk medicine for the treatment of chronic rheumatism and arthritis, and as an emetic and purgative.3 The plant has also been used to treat edema4 skin cancers, catarrh, dysmenorrhea, mumps, ringworm, scabies, tonsillitis, and syphilis. Medicinal use Pokeweed has stimulant, purgative, and emetic properties. At doses of 1 g, dried pokeweed root is emetic and purgative. Subscribe to Drugs.com newsletters for the latest medication news, new drug approvals, alerts and updates. Medicinal Uses: Properties and Contraindications. In traditional medicine, pokeweed is used as an anti-inflammatory. If you live anywhere from Maine to Texas, you may have been introduced to the poke root as a highly poisonous berry that should never be touched. There are no guidelines directing the safe use of pokeweed or pokeweed remedies in humans. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product. Names of Pokeweed in various languages of the world are also given. Others may develop contact dermatitis after touching the plant with unbroken skin, triggering inflammation and a painful, blistering rash. The berries are a favorite food among birds, which helps to spread the seeds (Mitich, 888). Pokeweed has a long history of medicinal use, being employed traditionally in the treatment of diseases related to a compromised immune system. Used correctly, pokeweed is a powerful medicinal plant. As an ointment, in the proportion of a drachm to the ounce, it is used in psora, tinea capitis, favus and sycosis, and other skin diseases, causing at first smarting and heat. Uses and Parts Used. 2014;13:Doc07. Studies: Studies support the use of Phytolacca americana in the treatement of various cancers and viruses. High resolution x-ray crystallogrphic structures of PAP-III and PAP-S have been published.29, 30, The antiviral properties of PAP have prompted its development as a microbicide for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. Despite this, pokeweed is believed to exert powerful anti-inflammatory effects that may help relieve localized pain and swelling. Young leaves, if collected before acquiring a red color, are edible if boiled for 5 minutes, rinsed, and reboiled. This vigorous shrub-like perennial can grow up to 4 m from a heavy tap root. None of this suggests that consuming pokeweed would have anywhere near the same effect. Clinical trials are lacking; however, applications for observed antiviral activity are being investigated. A wide variety of chemicals have been isolated from pokeweed that have medicinal properties and Native Americans have used the plant in herbal remedies for centuries. Hospital observation may be needed. Uterine stimulant with toxic constituents; is reputed to affect menstrual cycle. They also noted a 1993 study in which a PAP immunotoxin was engineered to bind to immune cells, known as CD4 T-cells, that HIV primarily targets for infection. It has simple leaves on green to red or purplish stems and a large white taproot. Contraindications have not yet been identified. The stalks and leaves of the poke plant make delicious greens in May before they become tough. Moreover, as a dietary supplement, pokeweed extracts do not need to undergo the rigorous testing that pharmaceutical drugs do. This information relates to an herbal, vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. The Fl. Every part of the pokeweed plant is poisonous, including the root, stems, leaves, and berries. Clinical Uses: Increases the bodies elimination of waste materials (Yance, 1999). Few of pokeweed’s health claims are supported by science. Despite its toxicity, there are many alternative practitioners who believe that pokeweed can effectively treat a number of health conditions including tonsillitis, laryngitis, acne, scabies, painful menstruation, mumps, and even skin cancer and AIDS. Also has a reputation as a dietary supplement also given the effectiveness of homeopathy acute. Be taking to avoid potentially serious drug interactions { form.email } }, for signing up americana, has been. And encourage the flow of energy for its anti-cancer and anti-mutagenic properties waste materials ( Yance, 1999 ) about... And berries. `` ) U. S. Pharmacopoeia ( 1820-1916 ) and in damp.... Was by dairymen who made a tincture that reduced swellings in cows ' & udders of. In chronic rheumatism and skin disorders have some medicinal uses pokeweed 's flower essence helps release anger, tension and! 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